Alok Kapali has a talented but erratic legspinner and a batsman of undoubted potential and has a burgeoning reputation as an allrounder, particularly in the one-day game. It’s taken him six years to make his first international hundred, and it was a spectacular effort. Unfortunately, his bowlers couldn’t back up his work and Bangladesh crashed to yet another defeat.
A truly breathtaking 115 from Alok Kapali helped Bangladesh suddenly find an extra gear and race to 283 from their 50 overs. Despite an attractive half-century from Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order, the innings had meandered along for 42 overs before Kapali cut loose with a ferocity that brooked no answer from the Indians. Mahmadullah turned over the strike at the other end, contributing only 24 to the century partnership as Kapali struck the ball with power and precision.
With eight overs remaining, the innings was becalmed. Pragyan Ojha had bowled a tidy spell and taken two wickets on debut, Yusuf Pathan had given little away, and Ishant Sharma had kept things quiet when called upon. But when Pathan came on to bowl his final over, Kapali, then on 47 from 64 balls, exploded into life. Two big slog-sweeps for six set the tone, and when RP Singh returned, both batsmen scythed him over backward point for fours.
Manpreet Gony, whose second international outing was a great deal more taxing than the first against Hong Kong, then went for four, six and six more as Kapali started to swing with genuine confidence. Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again turned to Ishant to apply a tourniquet, but to no avail. Kapali clipped a slow yorker beautifully through midwicket and then carved one past point as 61 came in just five overs. Of that, 50 had come off Kapali's bat.
That left them primed to repeat their famous World Cup win last year but India’s batting might consigned Bangladesh to another loss.